The Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi has said the Ministry of Finance has introduced reforms to check the financial impropriety in the country. To ensure accountability, Muhakanizi says all accounting officers are now required to submit progress reports and accountability for quarterly releases before money for the next quarter is released.
Muhakanizi says the ministry has discovered that the biggest form of corruption is within the budget adding that the reforms introduced will promote accountability and transparency.
To ensure accountability, Muhakanizi says all accounting officers are now required to submit progress reports and accountability for quarterly releases before money for the next quarter is released. The Ministry of Finance has this month released 2.5 trillion shillings for the second quarter of the 2013/2014 financial year and Muhakanizi says the accounting officers have already submitted reports for the first quarter.
He added that permanent secretaries in all ministries and accounting officers in other government departments will be held responsible for any loss of funds in those departments.
Muhakanizi said the ministry has introduced a separate account in Bank of Uganda to monitor cash management practices and to ensure that there is no idle cash balances on government bank accounts while other departments experience shortfalls. The Treasury Single Account –TSA, according to Muhakanizi, will support effective and modern cash management by obtaining an aggregate position of government cash balances.
He said that under the TSA, funds will be availed within the approved cash limits for only items for which payment is approved for settlement by the accounting officer.
Godber Tumushabe, the Executive Director Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment—ACODE, said the proposed reforms are a good step in the direction of fighting corruption and budget indiscipline and urged the ministry of finance to enforce them.
He said the reforms will help the existing budget network champions across the country to track the released funds and establish whether the funds have accomplished the projects for which they were released.
Muhakanizi said the reforms will ensure that incidences like the recent multi-billion shilling scandal in the Office of the Prime Minister do not happen again. He said because of the scandal government incurred a loss of 58 billion shillings to refund the money to the development partners.
Government lost over 50 billion shillings that was meant for the peace recovery and development plan in Northern Uganda.